How to Cook Quinoa
Naturally gluten free quinoa, pronounced "keen-wa", is an ancient grain that has been gaining popularity. It is quite versatile since it can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner and can be served hot or cold in a salad. Cooking quinoa is easy once you know the method that makes all the difference in the taste, texture and digestibility of this nutty tasting grain.
Quinoa is a powerhouse of nutrition. Due to its balanced essential amino acid profile, the protein in quinoa is considered complete. It is also high in phosphorus, magnesium, iron and fiber. It is thought of and treated like a grain, but it is really a seed.
Everyone is always asking me about quinoa nutrition and cooking quinoa. Rinsing and then soaking the seeds for a minimum of 5-6 hours makes them more digestible. Soaking the seeds is the method that produces soft and tender, but hearty quinoa. Cooking quinoa is easy and only takes about 20 minutes. Rinsing the quinoa well washes off a bitter coating. Most quinoa today is pre-rinsed, but rinsing at home is a good habit to follow.
I like to add healthy oils when cooking quinoa to enhance the taste as well as the nutritional value. Celtic sea salt provides alkalizing trace minerals. Cut up vegetables also add excellent nutrition. Raw vegetables can be added for texture and crunch. Cooked vegetables can be added to the cooked quinoa for a delicious variation.
Where to buy quinoa used to be difficult, but now in addition to health food stores, Whole Foods Markets, specialty markets and online, some supermarkets have begun to carry it.
HOW TO COOK SOFT AND TENDER QUINOA
You will need: 1 cup quinoa Sea salt (I use Celtic) Flax oil Pure water (spring or filtered) Heavy 2 quart saucepan with lid
1) Rinse 1 cup quinoa to remove the bitter saponins or buy pre-rinsed. 2) Put quinoa into a 2 cup dish (I use a 2 cup pyrex cup). 3) Add pure water and fill to top of container. 4) Mix once or twice with a spoon. 5) Let soak for at least 5 or six hours (can soak overnight if preparing in the morning). 6) Rinse quinoa in a fine strainer using several cups of pure water. 7) Place well drained quinoa into a heavy 2 quart saucepan. 8) Add 2 cups pure water and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (if desired). Stir once. 9) Bring mixture to a boil. 10) Turn down heat to low, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. 11) Remove from heat and let stand (covered) for approximately 10 minutes. 12) Add a few squirts of flax oil right before serving for a delightful nutty flavor. 13) Enjoy
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